Technology

Monday Buzz: The Results of a Gigantic Email Survey

By / Apr 13, 2015 (roshi11/ThinkStock)

Billions of emails have been thoroughly examined, and the results should interest every association. Plus: the raw numbers of an event’s green energy initiative.

A gigantic new study, which surveyed more than 2 million Yahoo email users and 16 billion emails, provides a fresh perspective into how we actually engage with email.

The study, titled “Evolution of Conversations in the Age of Email Overload,” comes as a result of a joint effort between USC Information Sciences Institute’s Farshad Kooti and Kristina Lerman, and Yahoo Labs’ Luca Maria Aiello, Mihajlo Grbovic, and Amin Mantrach.

“Patterns of email interactions reveal circadian rhythms and bursty dynamics of human activity, and the structure of evolving conversations,” the study says [PDF]. “Understanding how these patterns shape email use is necessary for designing the next generation of interaction tools that will improve the efficiency of communications and coordination in social groups.”

The explores a number of factors influencing behaviors and those behaviors themselves, including:

  • The duration of time between a user receiving a message and replying.
  • How demographics, devices, and context affect those replies.
  • What types of replies can end conversations.

For example, below is a look at how time of day and day of the week affect reply time and email length:

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“Our findings have important implications for understanding human behavior and designing better email management applications for tasks like ranking unread emails,” the team writes in their summary.

The full report is available via the Cornell University Library.

Tweet and App of the Day

Want to bring paper documents to your mobile device? The South Carolina Society of Association Executives and Beth Ziesenis highlight one possible solution: Microsoft Office Lens, which is available on iOS.

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As an example of how to follow through with green initiatives, the Nonprofit Technology Network has revealed the results of its carbon emission offsets program.

Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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